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Tom Palmer

Real Name
Thomas Palmer Sr.
Tom Palmer


Date of Birth
July 13, 1942

First publication


Personal History

He is the father of inker/editor Tom Palmer Jr..

Professional History

Tom Palmer, Sr. (born July 13, 1942)[1] is an American comic book artist best known as an inker for Marvel Comics.


Palmer's inks over Bret Blevins' pencils (cover to Magik #4, Marvel Comics, March 1984).

Although Tom Palmer has done a small amount of penciling work (as well as some cover art and some coloring, the vast majority of his artistic output since the 1960s has been as a comic book inker. Reminiscing about how he came to be an inker, Palmer recounted:

I walk in the door and pencil and[sic] issue of Doctor Strange - first job I ever penciled. At the time, I thought I did a good job, but really it was a stinker. It wasn't up to par. I went back two weeks later to get the next issue, and they said, "No, we're getting someone else to pencil it; would you like to ink it?" I said "Sure!" I'd never inked anything before! But to this day, if someone asks, "Can you handle this new assignment?" I'll say "Sure!" I may not know how to tackle that specific assignment today, but by tomorrow or next week I will.[2]

Especially noteworthy is Palmer's extensive work for Marvel Comics, including well-remembered runs paired with pencilers Neal Adams on The Avengers and Uncanny X-Men; Gene Colan, on titles such as Doctor Strange, Daredevil, and Tomb of Dracula; and John Buscema, on the The Avengers. He also inked the entire run of John Byrne's X-Men: The Hidden Years.

Palmer is widely considered the definitive inker for Gene Colan, whose use of grey textures made his pencils notoriously difficult to ink in a way that did them justice.[3] However, Palmer considers it a mystery that they were so often paired together, since Colan says that publishers never answered his requests to be paired with a specific inker:[2] "I think the way we both worked in the business, we had a book to get out every month, bills to pay, and somehow we were put together as a team. We could have been forgotten and ignored, and we'd not be sitting here today. But somehow, I think, the fans have brought us to this point of recognition."[4]

Palmer's brushy, detailed, and illustrative inking style hearkens back to vintage newspaper comic strip strips like Steve Canyon and Tarzan, and has influenced later generations of inkers like Klaus Janson, Josef Rubinstein, and Bob McLeod.[5]

Over the course of his career, Palmer has won several awards, including the 1969 Alley Award for Best Inking Artist. Palmer was also named the #3 Inker of American Comics by Atlas Comics.[5]

Palmer's son Tom Palmer, Jr. is a comic book professional who was an editor for DC Comics.[6]


  1. Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 91. 
  3. Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 83–84, 87. 
  4. Field, Tom (2005). Secrets in the Shadows: The Art & Life of Gene Colan. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 93. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The 20 Greatest Inkers of American Comic Books," Atlas Comics. Accessed Dec. 16, 2008.
  6. Brevort, Tom. "Tom Palmer Lunch," Blah Blah Blog (Nov. 8, 2007). Accessed Dec. 16, 2008.

External links

Preceded by
Dan Adkins
Doctor Strange inker
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vince Colletta
Uncanny X-Men inker
Succeeded by
Sam Grainger
Preceded by
Sam Grainger
Avengers inker
Succeeded by
Frank Giacoia
Preceded by
Syd Shores
Daredevil inker
Succeeded by
Syd Shores
Preceded by
Jack Abel
Tomb of Dracula inker
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Carlos Garzon
Star Wars inker
Succeeded by
Steve Leialoha
Preceded by
Joe Sinnott
Avengers inker
Succeeded by
Danny Miki
Preceded by
Tom Palmer, Jr.
The Incredible Hulk vol. 3 inker
Succeeded by
Scott Koblish


  • No special notes.


  • No trivia.

See Also

Work History

Official Website

  • None.

Links and References

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